Uncrewed Systems Technology 050 | Reflecting on the past I AM focus I Addverb Dynamo 1T I Skyfish M6 and M4 I USVs insight I Xponential 2023 part 1 I EFT Hybrid-1x I Fuel systems focus I Ocean Business 2023 I Armach HSR

82 As the automotive world becomes increasingly dominated by electric and hybrid vehicles, expertise and technology transfers from the EV/HEV space stand to make small aircraft powertrains more efficient. To our knowledge, Electric Flytrain (EFT) is the first company to spring from the EV world into that of UAVs, but then its three founders were all active in the automotive industry during the great shift towards electrification of a new generation of passenger cars to come over the next few years. Tobias Kahnert, CEO of EFT, says, “I worked on electric powertrains at Tesla for 5 years, from back when the Model S was first coming out, through to the time when we saw the technology quickly maturing and coalescing into the Model 3’s release as a mass-market car.” His two co-founders worked at BMW and Siemens at the time, and collectively the three designed all the parts encompassing a complete electric powertrain, including the firmware design, battery design and sensor development. Recognising how technological development and maturity were accelerating in the electric and hybrid world, the three foresaw how aviation would also eventually go electric. Although significant regulatory and supply chain hurdles still stand between them and an electric aircraft industry to supply powertrains to, they determined that in the meantime, UAVs represented the perfect beachhead market. By designing and supplying highly efficient electrified powertrains to the professional UAS industry, they could hone their engineering expertise and use that to conceptualise what the perfect powertrain for eVTOL, eSTOL and other electric aircraft types would one day look like. “We soon realised that the gravimetric The founders of this UAV engine developer have brought their expertise in the EV world to bear on building a heavy-lift UAV power unit. Rory Jackson reports FromEVs toUAVs June/July 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology The EFT-Hybrid-1x is designed to deliver 11.7 kW of continuous electric power from its HC-Concept engine and Acutronic alternator (Images courtesy of Electric Flytrain unless stated otherwise)